QB takes lickin', keeps on tickin'

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:35 AM ET

Depending on which accident scene witnesses you interview, Kerry Joseph was either knocked out cold or just had his ribs rattled.

Either way, the Saskatchewan Roughriders QB won't soon forget a head-on collision with Calgary Stampeders defensive end Rahim Abdullah the last time the teams met at McMahon.

Abdullah ran a red light and crashed into Joseph, who fumbled the ball and laid on the turf for two minutes before leaving the game, only to return for the next series.

"At the moment you're kind of shook up but you have to keep going and keep doing your job," said Joseph, who enters his first playoff game in the West semifinal Sunday against the Stampeders at McMahon.

"I had my bell rung but I knew I was OK, thinking clearly and seeing clearly. I remember when he hit me and everything but I was fine to get back in. It was a pretty tough shot to take."

Joseph recovered to complete 22 of 39 passes for 233 yards and one interception in a 23-7 Calgary win.

It was a gritty performance from the 6-ft. 2-in., 210-lb. Joseph, especially considering some Stamps thought the QB had been rendered senseless.

"I was very surprised he stayed in but I always knew he was a tough guy," said Abdullah, whose hit swung momentum in Calgary's favour.

"I've played four years against him but that just proves how tough he is after he got back up after that hit. He still came back and performed well but that hit gave our team such a great boost. They couldn't rebound after what happened but I don't think he missed a beat."

The Stamps (10-8) took two of three contests from the Riders (9-9) this season, although all three games were over a five-week period in the first half of the season.

It's a track record Joseph has deemed irrelevant in the playoffs.

"You don't think about the three games from the season," Joseph said.

"You played against each other but everybody starts from scratch now."

The three-game series might be old news but an impressive 8-1 record at McMahon this season is on the Roughriders' minds.

While Calgary has enjoyed a tremendous season at home, some of that advantage could be limited with the arrival of more than 10,000 Roughriders fans expected to pack the stands.

"It's going to be tough but the positive side is we're going to have a lot of fans in that stadium, a lot of people behind us," said Joseph, a fourth-year CFLer entering his first playoff game after toiling three seasons with the Ottawa Renegades.

"Hopefully, our fans will make as much noise as theirs ... You notice and see the green there, so if we can get momentum on our side, you'll hear them."


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